This is a guest blog entry from Karin Gerber.

Social media has become more than just a place to talk with your friends, seeing who is doing what with whom and where.

Websites like Twitter and Facebook are becoming the new frontiers of modern day customer service.  You won’t find a lot of businesses using those sites for advertising, but for things like quality assurance and customer service.   Consider this a new form of damage control for their public, corporate images.

Take a look on Facebook and you can find BlackBerry, AT&T, Time Warner, Best Buy and many more companies trying to reach out to people.   You can actually make a presence online and can ask questions about company products, business dealings, and work through customer issues.  A lot of times, businesses will also post any outages or delays in service on websites like Twitter or Facebook for the public to see.

I personally know of someone who has resolved business issues simply by venting on Twitter regarding his bad experiences within the normal channels of customer service.

As the story goes, one of the major cable companies had shut off his cable service due to a company error of one cent.  When on the phone with their customer service, he was informed the responsibility was his… even though the full amount was originally paid.  He was told he needed to pay the penny in order to have his cable service continued.   He went on Twitter and wrote a tweet about this poor business behavior.  He was pleasantly surprised when one of the customer service representatives who was monitoring Twitter for complaints had contacted him and resolved the issue right away.

This is not normally the usual means of getting proper customer service, but it does show you that there’s a chance you can get help.. and perhaps even get it faster.  Keep in mind that bad press in the form of word of mouth is still bad press.  In this day and age, anyone and everyone can reach a mass of people all within a few keystrokes.  By utilizing social media, you’re proving your voice does matter.